Familiarizing With the Types of Birth Control Pills
In the United States alone, more than 15 million women are using contraceptive pills as their form of birth control method. The pills become so popular among sexually active young and adult females as these oral contraceptives are proven to be the most effective, the most convenient, the safest, and one of the cheapest forms of birth control method.
For almost 50 years now since the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the usage of birth control pills, American women now have wide variations of oral contraceptive brands to choose from.
The different product variations of birth control pills available today have low dosage requirements compared to the oral contraceptives used by women before. Also, almost all birth control products featured today offer health benefits aside from their main purpose of preventing or delaying pregnancy. These are the reasons why many opt to use oral contraceptive as an efficient form of birth control method.
To be able to better understand how oral contraceptive works, one should first familiarize with the different types of birth control pills. The following is a brief rundown on the known forms of birth control pills:
1. Progestin-only pills (POP)
The progestin-only pills, or the mini-pills, are the oral contraceptives that do not contain estrogen. This type of birth control pill is highly recommended by gynecologists and health practitioners for breastfeeding women. This birth control pill works by expanding a woman’s cervical mucus, thus, preventing sperm cells from getting into the uterus.
2. Combination pills
The combination pills are the oral contraceptives that contain both progestin and estrogen. This type of birth control pill is categorized into three:
In this type of combination pill, 21 active pills of a pack contain both progestin and estrogen. The remaining seven pills do not contain hormones, only placebos, thus, triggering the start of the menstrual cycle. In monophasic combination pill, a woman will only have menstruation once in every three months.
Multiphasic type of combination oral contraception requires a strict intake schedule. This combination pill contains varying amounts of progestin and estrogen levels. Multiphasic pills are specifically developed to lessen the side effects of birth control pills such as spotting, amenorrhea, as well as bleeding. These unpleasant side effects trigger due to the high level of progestin and estrogen in the body.
The continuous type of combination pill has just been recently approved last May 2007. This oral contraceptive is basically a multiphasic pill in a 28-day pack that is generally designed for continuous intake. However, women users should expect bleeding and spotting during the first few months of taking this type of combination birth control pill.
3. Emergency birth control pills (EBC)
Unlike the two types of birth control pills, EBC pills are not developed to be used as a regular form of birth control pill. These pills are basically intended to prevent conception after an unprotected sexual intercourse or when other forms of birth control used failed. EBC pills are also not meant to cause abortion or miscarriage.